It has all the benefits AND downsides of being a convertible: the good... so nice to have an open sky, to hear and smell your surroundings, driving over bridges (in NYC!) through the streets of Dumbo and the canyons of buildings, then out in the countryside to hear the birds and smell the greenery... so nice. The funny benefit? It's like a pickup truck if you don't mind the weird geometry I've fit full sheets of plywood, and helped a friend get 6 chairs home (and she fit in the shotgun seat to boot!)
The bad?: very loud top up or down so the stereo barely registered... but most importantly, even after changing the seals and top, it still leaked during heavy downpours. It was hard to figure out exactly where it leaked but the gauges all fogged up, the carpet got wet, and even in the trunk there was always the hint of water. Endless.
The car was a pleasure to drive: very predictable, very solid, and gripped the road very well. Curves at speed (on the Taconic, which is a windy highway) was fun and easy to keep it centered in the lane though it meant that you really had to watch for the sloppy SUV drivers. Acceleration best from about 50-80, but really could power up at speed.
The car is flawless, you cant have fun in it. The design is superb and I would drive nothing else. Not a fast car but it is very quick and can give most new cars a run for their money. Reliability is great if it has had good owners. Easy to modify and work on. DONT BUY IT IF YOU ARE NOT AN ENTHUSIAST!
Quick, sporty and nimble. very organic, you don't get any features and I don't care.
Keep her nice and you wont have issues. Free flow exhaust, re chip, cold air intake, coil-overs the sky is the limit. Just don't over do it!
I bought a 1989 BMW 325i with 138k miles from its original owner. She now has 186k. It's in perfect running condition and cosmetically it's near perfect if not immaculate. I changed the transmission and made it a 5 speed just for preferance but the 4 Speed automatic transmission was flawless. I get about 23.5 combined mpg with either transmission with mostly hwy driving. I highly recommend this car to anyone looking for a cool vintage car on a budget. Given you perform the proper maintenance, this car will not let you down and it's a great daily with decent MPG.
Well this is my first car a 1988 BMW 325is 5-speed , but have driven newer BMWs and can say that not much else drives as good as a well sorted e30 does , and nothing that I've driven drives better . I will say that the e30 in stock form is not very fast it will move once you get the engine on cam 2400-5500rpm , but e30s are momentum cars not drag racers , e30s handle very well if you know what your doing , the steering is second to nothing , the brakes are surprisingly good , and the handling is very good, but if you screw up there are NO safety nets , you have ABS that's it e30s love oversteer , you will most likely flip the car around at least once , so buy the best tires you can afford
Handling , handling , handling , engines are very good and if kept up correctly will run for ever
Tilting steering colum , i cant think of anything else
I got a 1987 BMW 325iS as my very first car. It had about 155k miles. I had it for 13 years. While it had a few issues over the years (ECU, radiator fan, brake master cyl, clutch, routine stuff like brakes and timing belt; expected after 200k miles+), it was VERY reliable.
The engine was glorious to rev and got good mpg. The ride and handling was great, and was perfect after getting H&R+Bilsteins. Very fun and easy to live with.
Sadly, my car's life was ended by an errant elderly man driving a beat up Toyota, who hit it while it was parked. It had 300,000 miles on it, and was still fun to drive every day. I loved my car dearly, and will be getting another BMW. R.I.P, my old E30.
Fun engine with a peaky, strong powerband that comes alive above 3000rpm or so.
Loves to rev, and makes beautiful music.
Manual transmission was smooth as butter.
Quick, precise steering.
Very tossable, with a tendancy towards oversteer (you'll spin it in the wet if you aren't careful).
Clutch has a firm feel, and the steering is weighty for precision at speed.
Simplistic and somewhat dated styling but, when clean, they are still beautiful cars.
They aren't always easy to find anymore, but if you find one in good condition, an E30 BMW will steal your heart.
This car has a cult following, and for good reason.
If they started producing the E30 again, I'd tell them to leave it as is.
Maybe little things, like more modern engine management electronics or something, but people still love the E30 exactly because it is a fun, light-weight sports car, unburdened by excessive insulation, wood trim, and modern luxury amenities.
Not that I don't love the newer BMW's, but the E30 still has a unique character that has not been reproduced, by BMW or by anyone else, and it is still a worthwhile car because of that.